FanPost

END OF 2009-2010 SEASON; LOOKING AHEAD TO 2010-2011 LINES

HURRICANES LINES 2010 -2011


Putting the Best Team on the Ice


   The challenge for the Hurricanes front office is how to get their best players on the ice.  The challenge for 2010-2011 is that the Hurricanes have a number of veteran forwards under contract who would have to have a career year in order to qualify within the top 12 in terms of skill sets.  The depth of talent at forward for the Hurricanes is extremely impressive; and that depth of talent will increase with the draft picks for the 2010 entry draft.


   Here are some lines I would like to see,  if contracts were not an issue.  I am assuming that Jim Rutherford will use his GM magic to open  spots for the talent that is available.  The most likely result, however, is that for much of the 2010-2011 season,  several Checkers will rotate through and get meaningful time at Carolina.  I predict that after the trade deadline,  several veteran forwards will be moved.  In some ways it is easier to predict the 2011-2012 forward lines than the 2010-2011 lines.


  The core forwards in the top six are Staal, Ruutu, Jokinen, and Sutter.  They are the givens in any set of predicted lines.  The Jokinen/Staal/Ruutu line has tremendous logic on paper; and particularly if Ruutu is able to recover fully from the shoulder surgery and if his legs are fresh.  He’s a young player and the fact he missed time this season could actually help him have young legs in 2010-2011. 


     Lines Based on Overall Talent


  Ignoring subjective factors often called “intangibles,” and ignoring whether players have spots due to their contracts,  a talent-based set of lines might look something like the lines shown below.  Each line needs to include in it in some combination or form:  (1) two forwards with excellent speed (hence the discussion about Ruutu and young legs), (2) a center with size and range who can go coast to coast, (3) a forward with size who loves to crash the net and who loves the dirty ice; (4) a forward who will knock a player out of his stakes, and (5) one blazingly fast forward to can score off of turnovers (think Boychuk’s two playoff goals from stealing pucks from the goalie).
  
Version A:


Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Boychuk Sutter Tlusty

Bowman Dalpe Osala

Dwyer Dodge Samson






Version B:


Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Boychuk Sutter Bowman

Tlusty Dalpe Osala

Dwyer Dodge Samson


Version C:


Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Tlusty Sutter Bowman

Boychuk Dalpe Osala

Dwyer Dodge Samson


Version D:


Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Tlusty Sutter Bowman

Boychuk Dalpe Osala

Dwyer Dodge Samson


Version E:
Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Boychuk Sutter Osala

Tlusty Dalpe Bowman

Dwyer Dodge Samson


ADDING VETERANS AND INTANGIBLES


  Returning to a more reality-based set of lines that includes consideration of contracts and intangibles,  the lines have a different look:

Version A:

Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Boychuk Sutter Cole

LaRose Dalpe Bowman

Dwyer Samson Osala

Version B:


Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Boychuk Sutter Cole

LaRose Dalpe Tlusty

Dwyer Samson Osala


Version C:


Jokinen Staal Ruutu

LaRose Sutter Cole

Boychuk Dalpe Tlusty

Dwyer Samson Osala


Version D:
Jokinen Staal Ruutu

LaRose Sutter Cole

Boychuk Dalpe Bowman

Dwyer Samson Osala/Tlusty (rotating to and from Checkers)


  In all these scenarios,  I have Samsonov, Brind’Amour, and Kostopoulos not playing for the Hurricanes; and I have Whitney not re-signing.  Adding Whitney to the mix alters the lines, of course. I think Whitney is likely to re-sign with Carolina.  Here are the lines with Whitney.


    LINES WITH WHITNEY RE-SIGNING

Version A:


Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Whitney Sutter Cole

Boychuk Dalpe Bowman/Tlusty (both rotate in and out of the line-up)

LaRose Dwyer Samson/Osala/Tlusty (rotating to and from Checkers)(all three rotate in and out)


  In this scenario,  depending on the match-ups the time on ice for the third and fourth lines are roughly equivalent, depending on how the lines are skating at the time and how the match-ups against the other team is going.


Version B:


Whitney Staal Ruutu

Jokinen Sutter Cole

Boychuk Dalpe Bowman/Tlusty/Osala (all three rotate in and out of the line-up)

LaRose Dwyer Samson/Osala/Tlusty (all three rotate in and out of the line-up)



Version C:  My Personal Pick if I were GM (and assuming Whitney is re-signed as lines to go start in Finland after training camp)

Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Whitney Sutter Bowman

Boychuk Dalpe Cole
LaRose Dwyer Samson/Osala/Tlusty (rotating to and from Checkers)(all three rotate in and out)



Version D:  The After the Trade Deadline lines for 2010-2011 (and assuming Whitney re-signs)


Jokinen Staal Ruutu

Whitney Sutter Bowman

Boychuk Dalpe Tlusty

Dwyer Samson Osala


  In this scenario,  depending on the match-ups the time on ice for the third and fourth lines are roughly equivalent.  The time on ice would be influenced by how the lines are skating at the time and how the match-ups against the other team are working.  I am looking for speed, skill, and commitment to hounding the puck each shift.  I am also looking to make certain each line has at least one player who loves to crash the net and who can generate screens for the goalie and basically create general havoc in front of the net.  I am assuming, too, that all the Rats/Checkers come to training camp stronger and very, very hungry to make the team.  My guess is that Bowman will take the second line wing but Tlusty could easily change lines with Bowman.













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